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Dinosaurs in Exalted 3rd Edition

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  • Dinosaurs in Exalted 3rd Edition

    Given that the writers of Exalted have given them different names to reflect the cultures that encounter them in Creation, identifying exactly which creatures are what we would know as dinosaurs can be a little tricky, but I think I have the start of a list for these primal beasts (and how many dots of the Familiar Merit I feel players would need to get them).

    From the Exalted 3E Core:

    Claw Strider (Raptors) 2 Dots
    Ox-Dragon (Triceratops) 3 Dots
    Raiton (Archaeopteryx) 1 Dot
    Siege Lizard (Stegosaurus) 3 Dots
    Tyrant Lizard (Tyrannosaurus Rex) 3 Dots

    From the Lunar Backer Access Manuscript:

    Iron-Skull Devil (Pachycephalosaurus) 2 Dots
    Shieldback Lizard (Ankylosaurus) 3 Dots
    Thunder Lizard (Brontosaurus) 3 Dots

    From Hundred Devils Night Parade

    Sky Titan (Quetzalcoatlus) 3 Dots

    I was originally going to incluse the Pestletail as well as its description was initially similar to the ankylosaurus, but upon further research of these dinosaurs, it became apparent that they didn't have turtle-like shells. It is still possible that these are a dinosaur species... I just can't identify which one (there are a lot to sort through), so until I am sure they are one (the description doesn't actually say if they are reptilian, just that they have a bony shell like a turtle or armadillo), I am not going to include them.

    For the Familiar dot values, I based it mostly on size and how they would stack up against other large predators and other animals. The ones that had Legendary Size would be clearly 3 Dot Familiars, while the two smaller examples (Claw Striders and Iron-Skull Devils) are more man-sized and as dangerous as a tiger or lion (given the vague guidelines provided).

    Now I know this far from a comprehensive list... just a list of the ones that I have stats for (and I may have missed some in the main books). This doesn't include the exclusive digital content that may be available on DrivethruRPG... as I don't have that content at this time (been hoping they will gather this content into an informal collection and provide a PoD option).

    If anyone wants to add to this or to tell me what I have missed, feel free to do so, but I ask we limit things to Official 3E content (no home-brews in other words).
    Last edited by Shadowstripe; 10-07-2019, 01:23 PM.


    There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
    I reject your reality and substitute my own!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Shadowstripe View Post
    I was originally going to incluse the Pestletail as well as its description was initially similar to the ankylosaurus, but upon further research of these dinosaurs, it became apparent that they didn't have turtle-like shells. It is still possible that these are a dinosaur species... I just can't identify which one
    Based on the pestletail's description in the core, I think they're supposed to be glyptodonts, which are mammals, not dinosaurs. I had made the same assumption, that they were ankylosaurs, until the Shieldback Lizard in Lunars came out.

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    • #3
      Yeah... that does seem to match the description provided for Pestletails better. There have been so many unusual species throughout Earth's history that it can be hard to be sure which ones the writers are using since they don't provide the name we would know it as... only what the cultures of Creation would call them.


      There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
      I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Shadowstripe View Post
        Yeah... that does seem to match the description provided for Pestletails better. There have been so many unusual species throughout Earth's history that it can be hard to be sure which ones the writers are using since they don't provide the name we would know it as... only what the cultures of Creation would call them.

        Yes, it's good to remember Creation is full of the awesome mammal megafauna that came up much after the dinossaurs and almost up to the our own contemporary age.

        Not to mention that considering how magic, spirits and the Wyld can make some thing wonky, it's perfectly possible to insert some species that never were - because who's to say a lion, tiger, jaguar or leopard is a "more appropriate" Great Cat" for Creation than smilodons, snow lions, viable ligers & etc, or any weird variation of the previous, just a Lore roll or two away of one's game?
        Last edited by Baaldam; 06-24-2019, 07:36 PM.

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        • #5
          Another one to add to the list is actually the raiton, I think. Despite the name, it's not a raven, though it fills a similar cultural niche. Based on the description ("small, black-feathered reptiles [with] clawed wings and a beak full of small, sharp teeth."), I'd guess they're supposed to be archaeopteryx or something similar.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
            Yes, it's good to remember Creation is full of the awesome mammal megafauna that came up much after the dinossaurs and almost up to the our own contemporary age.

            Not to mention that considering how magic, spirits and the Wyld can make some thing wonky, it's perfectly possible to insert some species that never were - because who's to say a lion, tiger, jaguar or leopard is a "more appropriate" Great Cat" for Creation than smilodons, snow lions, viable ligers & etc, or any weird variation of the previous, just a Lore roll or two away of one's game?
            Don't forget the effect that a Randy Lunar can cause to the ecosystem - cross breeds that breed true because a Lunar was one of the parents.

            Sadly, I haven't read 3rd (It took so long for the kickstarter, I got married and had a child, so stopped having time)
            But a couple of dinosaurs I remember from 1-2nd

            Pelagic Dragon (Plesiosaur)
            Sea Dragon (Mosasaur)
            Austrech is a Terror Bird, like the glyptodaunt, it's a later era magafauna

            River Dragon is a bit like a prehistoric Crocodile, which is Era appropriate, but not strictly a Dinosaur, similar to Siaka that are representative of (small) Megalodons
            Last edited by Illithid; 06-24-2019, 08:36 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Illithid View Post

              Are River Dragons explicitly in 3rd Ed?
              Yes, they're in the Core, pp. 571-572. I think the river dragon is supposed to be a really big crocodilian, rather than a dinosaur per se, though. Something like sarcosuchus.

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              • #8
                I think that the river dragon may have just ended up where it was because it was appealing to the creators. I recall hearing that it doesn't really correspond to any particular prehistoric reptile, and in any case, it probably wouldn't be a dinosaur. They were overwhelmingly land-dwellers.

                Originally posted by Shadowstripe View Post
                Given that the writers of Exalted have given them different names to reflect the cultures that encounter them in Creation, identifying exactly which creatures are what we would know as dinosaurs can be a little tricky, but I think I have the start of a list for these primal beasts (and how many dots of the Familiar Merit I feel players would need to get them).

                From the Exalted 3E Core:

                Claw Strider (Velociraptor) 2 Dots
                Utahraptor, actually. Velociraptor would have been not much bigger than a chicken, which is far under the description of the claw strider across editions.

                Ox-Dragon (Triceratops) 3 Dots
                Siege Lizard (Stegosaurus) 3 Dots
                Tyrant Lizard (Tyrannosaurus Rex) 3 Dots

                From the Lunar Backer Access Manuscript:

                Iron-Skull Devil (Pachycephalosaurus) 2 Dots
                Shieldback Lizard (Ankylosaurus) 3 Dots
                Thunder Lizard (Brontosaurus) 3 Dots

                I was originally going to incluse the Pestletail as well as its description was initially similar to the ankylosaurus, but upon further research of these dinosaurs, it became apparent that they didn't have turtle-like shells. It is still possible that these are a dinosaur species... I just can't identify which one (there are a lot to sort through), so until I am sure they are one (the description doesn't actually say if they are reptilian, just that they have a bony shell like a turtle or armadillo), I am not going to include them.

                For the Familiar dot values, I based it mostly on size and how they would stack up against other large predators and other animals. The ones that had Legendary Size would be clearly 3 Dot Familiars, while the two smaller examples (Claw Striders and Iron-Skull Devils) are more man-sized and as dangerous as a tiger or lion (given the vague guidelines provided).
                Those are both a good deal larger than human size, or even a big cat, even if they aren't legendary sized. They are more on par with the larger ranges of modern equines.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                  Don't forget the effect that a Randy Lunar can cause to the ecosystem - cross breeds that breed true because a Lunar was one of the parents.
                  Hmmm...

                  I don't think any Edition has actually attributed Lunars with a native capacity to breed with animals in any shape besides one that is already compatible. I mean, strictly speaking, it wasn't until late Second Edition when cross-breeding animal and human traits became something that they could do outside of the Wyld, and their capacity to do so in the Wyld was never really distinct. Rocks and lions can make babies in the Wyld.

                  Certainly not in this Edition, when the beastfolk children of Lunars are most likely to come from people having sex with Lunars in their hybrid bodies.

                  I suppose that it's not strictly beyond the scope of a Lunar narrative to employ some kind of odd magic to enable such unions but... ehh.

                  Originally posted by Shadowstripe
                  Thunder Lizard (Brontosaurus)


                  Wellll…

                  {takes a second to look into it}

                  Ah dang, they went and made Brontosaurus the name for an actual genus a few years back? Shiiit, I grew up with the information that it was an outdated and erroneous term for what had become called brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus. That's going to take some adjustment.

                  Paleontology is freaking weird.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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                  • #10
                    Pestletails are indeed glyptodons. I think they were a backer reward choice, even.

                    Despite what one would think at first, angler lizards are Tanystropheus, which surprsiingly are not dinosaurs despite their looks.


                    And stuff.
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                    • #11
                      Illithid, that it technically wasn't a dinosaur yet lived at the same time is the reason I didn't include it in this list... a lot of creatures existed during the age of the dinosaurs that weren't actually dinosaurs does make it harder to come up with a clear list.

                      Saur Ops Specialist, I do know that the Claw Strider and Iron Skull Devil are still more massive than a human, they are more along the human-scale than most the others presented, thus I felt they didn't quite merit the full 3 Dot familiar status... and over all they would be roughly seen as as much of a threat as any other large predator or large herbivore would be given the broad parameters for familiar levels. Besides... Horses are seen as 2 Dot familiars anyways. I must also coment that you must know of some rather large chickens to compare valociraptors to their size... they are closer to the size of a turkey now that I have seen a more accurate picture of them compared to humans (movies really do like playing loose with the actual creatures they are presenting... which I admit I was initially basing my comparison off of).

                      Isator Levi, yeah... I was surprised by that too...but then the auto-correct my computer uses doesn't accept the name I originally put as valid (probably because I misspelled it) and I didn't realize it was changed until you mentioned it now.

                      Kelly Pedersen, without a clear picture of what a Raiton looks like, I am reluctant to claim it as an archaeopteryx despite the similarities in general description... though if we do get such a picture (even one from a previous edition) I would be inclined to agree that it has a place here. This really is a problem with the writers deciding which Earth animals to give new names to and which to keep... it makes it very difficult to know for sure which animals are actually in the setting.

                      Blaque, hence the reason I chose not to include them on the list... the first because it clearly isn't a dinosaur... and the other because, despite its appearance, it technically wasn't one either.

                      In case people are wondering why I included the reference as to how many dots of familiar each would likely be worth... it is, in part, for the Heart's Blood Merit for Lunars. Each dot can give the Lunar a number of forms roughly equivalent to various Familiar ratings. One Dot of Heart's Blood provides roughly 6 shapes equivalent to a 1 Dot familiar, about 3 shapes equal to a 2 Dot familiar or 1 shape on par with a 3 Dot familiar (okay... this is a little looser interpretation, but a fair one I think as I see no reason to restrict the choice of animals to a single direction given how far ranging Lunars can be... especially when being guided by other Lunars).

                      The other reason is because I am creating a Lunar Exalt with a Dinosaur Spirit Shape who will be limiting the other forms he takes to these primal beasts, seeing them as Creations mightiest beasts. I am thinking he came from a tribe that venerated these beasts almost like Gods... and may have been one of the only cultures that actually tamed any of them. I am thinking that the tribe may have had its origin around the fall of Rathess during the Great Contagion, with their tales of living with the Dragon-Kings slowly blending with the mighty saurians over the centuries. I can't remember the name of the Southern Jungle Goddess from the 2nd Ed books (and don't have access to them to look it up), but the one I am thinking of did have some reptilian features... and did her best not to get dragged into the petty squabble her sibling forest Gods (and their mortal followers) had to the North. I'm thinking his tribe venerated her as their patron, and in turn let them tame some of these creatures to help them survive where these giants walked.


                      There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
                      I reject your reality and substitute my own!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                        Don't forget the effect that a Randy Lunar can cause to the ecosystem - cross breeds that breed true because a Lunar was one of the parents.

                        Sadly, I haven't read 3rd (It took so long for the kickstarter, I got married and had a child, so stopped having time)
                        But a couple of dinosaurs I remember from 1-2nd

                        Pelagic Dragon (Plesiosaur)
                        Sea Dragon (Mosasaur)
                        Austrech is a Terror Bird, like the glyptodaunt, it's a later era magafauna

                        River Dragon is a bit like a prehistoric Crocodile, which is Era appropriate, but not strictly a Dinosaur, similar to Siaka that are representative of (small) Megalodons

                        getting anal here, but neither Plesiosaurs nor mosasaurs are dinosaurs, though they lived at the same time. But I will give you extra credit for calling a terror bird a dinosaur, since that's what birds are

                        And on the subject of river dragons, I thought those would be something like kronosaurus, since I thought they were to be fully aquatic while sarcosuchus being a crocodile can come on land.

                        On a side note, the Sci-show channel on Youtube just had an episode on extinct crocodiles. Some would make awesome Lunar forms, and is fun to check out in any case
                        Last edited by vampire hunter D; 06-25-2019, 03:10 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                          Certainly not in this Edition, when the beastfolk children of Lunars are most likely to come from people having sex with Lunars in their hybrid bodies.

                          I suppose that it's not strictly beyond the scope of a Lunar narrative to employ some kind of odd magic to enable such unions but... ehh.
                          Originally posted by Lunar's 2nd ed
                          Lunar Exalts have the ability to pass on both the bestial traits of a shape that they wear, and the mystic power that Luna has granted them, or sometimes both to the same offspring.

                          To breed beastman, in the absence of charms, the Lunar exalt must engage is a cross-species coupling. It should be noted that vast differences in size between mates are not feasible, and that many beastman births are dangerous to the mother. In addition, the Lunar must meet one of the following criteria:
                          The coupling takes place in the Bordermarches or deeper in the Wyld.
                          The Lunar has essence 4+.
                          A half-caste child may be the result of any Lunar coupling provided at least one parent is human at the time of the act. Additionally the Lunar must have essence 4, though having 3+ dots of cult lowers this requirement by one as does living within the influence of an uncapped demense.
                          Technically, it just says cross-species coupling. It never explicitly says animal-human, implying animal-animal is possible. Probably frowned upon due to the Chimera connotations. But Possible.
                          I haven't read the manuscript for Lunars 3rd ed though if it's worded too differently.

                          Also, when it comes to descriptions, most of the depictions of Dinos are highly speculative, so it could be "similar enough" and still be more real than our current images.
                          Last edited by Illithid; 06-25-2019, 08:19 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, that's from last edition's lunars. They shook things up a bit with Fangs At The Gate.

                            Lunars can just give animals the traits of other animals with a charm now. So hybrids are still viable.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post

                              And on the subject of river dragons, I thought those would be something like kronosaurus, since I thought they were to be fully aquatic while sarcosuchus being a crocodile can come on land.
                              River dragons can go onto land, however - note their Lunge From the Depths ability, which is explicitly a charge from the water at an enemy on land. To me, it sounds like the river dragon is aquatic the way a Nile or saltwater crocodile is: water is their primary habitat, but you absolutely aren't safe anywhere a short run away from water. They'll just drag you back to the water to eat you.

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